Five new jails by next year

Five new jails will be completed and ready to house hundreds of inmates by the beginning of next year to defuse the current «explosive» situation in the Greek penal system, Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras indicated yesterday. Writing in Sunday’s Kathimerini in the wake of an uprising by prisoners at jails around Greece, Papaligouras said that the main problem that must be solved is overcrowding, which has led to more than 10,600 people being kept in facilities for just 6,800. He said the government would build seven new jails. Two, in Trikala and Domokos, have already been built. Two more, in Grevena and Thebes, are set to open this summer. Another two, in Serres and Drama, are due to be ready in the fall and a new jail in Hania, Crete, will be completed early next year. Papaligouras said the current prison conditions are poor because previous PASOK governments had only built one new jail in 15 years. The Socialists said they drew up the plans and secured the funding in 2003 for the new jails being built now.